Testing our Hypotheses

Chrissy McLeanAll, Bravo Team, Youth Programs

Bravo Team has been focusing on scientific sampling this fall. Students have been practicing with scientific equipment and we have been measuring temperature, salinity, pH, and secchi depth each time we go out on the water. Last week, we practiced anchoring and sampling with a Nisken bottle which allows us to collect water from depth. That way we could not only test water from different locations, but also from different parts of the water column.

Before we headed out on the water today, we developed some simple hypotheses about changes from last week’s sampling based on our experience sampling so far. We predicted that the secchi depth would be less because the sky was overcast, the temperature would be colder because it is later in the year, the salinity would be the same because it hasn’t rained much, and the pH would be lower at the surface because of recent rains. Right off the bat we realized that we might want to keep track of weather and precipitation too!

Before leaving the dock, we had to spin around Townshend and Onward, but we were soon underway. When we finally arrived at our sampling site, just off the old ferry dock, we realized we only had a few minutes to complete our sampling. The group split into teams and got right to work.

After collecting our samples and recording the data, it was already time to head back. We then reviewed our predictions from earlier- we were right about some things but not about others. And like all good scientists, we realized we needed to know more! We now want to know what impacts these measures have on our local marine life and what might cause these changes that we are recording. Stayed tuned to learn more as we do.